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Happy Valentine’s hangover

What’s Valentine’s Day supposed to be? Are there rules about these things?

I think before I was married or even dating very much I had a fuzzy idea — ideas that had something to do with eating out, cheesecake for dessert and probably flowers.

Now, like most moms, my idea of romance is at least one night of not having to check the toilet seat for pee before I sit down or putting supper on the table without having to find a home for two loads of laundry, an entire Lego city and the remnants of an inspirational craft project.

When Valentine’s dawned this year

It shouldn’t have been a surprise then when our Valentine’s started a beep.

(I wish I could say a bang. It would add so much more climax to the story, but I guess that’s a little cliche.)

But it’s actually a series of beeps and flashing lights. The plow truck, which would qualify as road-size in less snow-ready states, was stuck our driveway. At 4:30 a.m.

(Can we just pause to say all snow plow drivers deserve medals?)

An hour later, two feet of snow and the massive snow plow were both moved from our driveway. All the concern our dog expressed that entire hour probably helped.

Valentine’s Day had officially begun.

Why let the day get ahead of you? Valentine’s is a perfect day to start early. Especially when you get a card and chocolate first thing. And when your husband forgives you for forgetting his card. Yikes.

I packed Valentine treats for the posse and then crawl towards the brewing coffee. The rest of the morning is kisses and hugs and lunch boxes and snowsuits and boots and finding matching mittens.

After the 2-hour school delay, everyone is dropped off and the rest of the day is ordinary and quiet. Our night routine at is the same — ordinary.

No shocking endings here. This Valentine’s didn’t include chocolates, gourmet food or candle light. (Well, OK, we did manage to sneak a few chocolates.)

But it did have lots of love and happy.

On Valentine’s Day, I heard her tell me a zillion times she loved the fancy makeup she got. I watched him play with that truck (with real doors!) all afternoon long. We had candy before breakfast. And the excitement when they hauled their school Valentine’s home? Palpable. We shared snuggles under the blanket with a story about a mouse named Ragweed. And after bedtime? We rented a movie he’d been wanting to watch and stayed up late watching it.

Everyday life isn’t full of grand gestures. It’s soggy mittens and getting stuck in snow drifts sometimes. It’s a Valentine box stuffed full of love and bear hugs first thing in the morning. It’s snuggling close and spinning stories.

Grand gestures get all the press and they’re fun to read about in books, but maybe Valentine’s is also a day to celebrate everyday love. The love that holds your hand in the car. The love lets you have chocolate milk sometimes instead of white milk. The love that crawls out of a warm bed to give hugs and scare away bad guys in the night. The love that tells you you’re pretty even when you have pillow hair.

Feeling ordinary? That’s OK. Because if you look close, sandwiched in between all the ordinary craziness love is there, too.

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